PRESS RELEASE: Good News for Migraine Sufferers

Last updated: 01 November 2019

PRESS RELEASE: Good News for Migraine Sufferers

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Good news for migraine sufferers: New migraine prevention drug now available to UK patients with a doctor’s prescription.

The first new migraine drug in over 20 years is now available to order with a doctor’s prescription via TheSocialMedwork and can be delivered in around 12 days. This is especially encouraging news for patients who have already been waiting years for this treatment.

More than eight million Britons - three quarters of them women - have attacks, often experiencing intense headaches, sensitivity to light/sound, blurred vision and even nausea. But until now there has been no specific treatment to prevent the problem, with patients instead often being given 'off-label' medicines and painkillers, beta blockers, antidepressants or even Botox to reduce symptoms.

The migraine prevention drug, erenumab (brand name Aimovig) which has been labelled by some as the ‘Holy Grail’ for migraine sufferers is said to prevent nearly half of migraine attacks for people and took British scientists three decades to develop.

The jab, which is self-administered into the thighs, stomach or upper arms with an injection pen, is the first FDA-approved preventive migraine treatment in a new class of drugs that work by blocking the activity of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a molecule that is involved in migraine attacks.

Although the exact cause of migraines is still unknown, multiple studies have confirmed that the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide is increased during acute migraine attacks which causes blood vessels intertwined with nerve endings in the head to swell.

The inhibition of CGRP and its receptor has proved effective in migraine pain relief, supporting the hypothesis of its involvement in the disease and The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the drug for patients who have migraines at least four days a week.

Although the medication is not currently expected to be made available on the NHS until 2019, migraine sufferers can now talk to their GP about getting a prescription and importing the drug via the social enterprise company and regulated medicines intermediary TheSocialMedwork.

The UK price for the treatment (which is sold under the brand name Aimovig) on the TheSocialMedwork website is currently priced at €698 plus shipping (or approx. £622)

Results from the clinical trials approved by the European Medical Agency showed that Aimovig is effective at reducing the number of days patients suffer migraines. In a study of 667 patients who had migraines 18 days a month on average, those treated with Aimovig had 7 fewer days with migraines per month, compared with 4 fewer days for patients on placebo. There is also a chance for people with chronic migraine to experience a 50% reduction in migraine days.

Working in accordance with the UK government’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) TheSocialMedwork is unique in that it can legally help individual patients buy the latest innovative medicines without needing to travel to another country for treatment. No other organisation in medical industry can do this.

According to the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) there is no requirement for a member of the public to notify them of the importation of medicines for serious or life-debilitating conditions on individual patient basis and does not restrict such importation. Consequently, no licence, certificate or further authorisation is issued to or needed by recipients. The person receiving the medication needs to have only a prescription from a resident specialist and a doctor’s letter stating the name of the patient and the intended use and for how long the medicine supply will last. The MHRA considers ‘individual patient use’ to involve the use of three-months supply of a medicine by an individual or family member.

TheSocialMedwork founder Sjaak Vink says: “Delays between global approvals and availability for certain drugs can be months to years. But migraines can be incredibly painful and debilitating and curtail people's lives. In response to the news that the migraine prevention drug, erenumab, has been given approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), we’re happy to inform UK migraine sufferers that the drug is now immediately accessible through our medicines intermediary service TheSocialMedwork."

TheSocialMedwork is committed to ensuring the lowest public prices for its medicines.

No medicines are dispensed without a valid prescription.